Rocket Lab successfully launched an Electron carrying a classified US mission from Māhia Peninsula, New Zealand, at 0630 GMT on 13 July.
The Electron was carrying NROL-162: the first of two responsive space missions, also known as “Wise One Looks Ahead”, for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). The next mission, expected to launch on 22 July, is NROL-199 (“Antipodean Adventure”). Both satellites are classified spy satellites developed by the US in partnership with the Australian Department of Defence.
The mission launch of NROL-162 marked Rocket Lab’s 28th Electron launch.
Jonathan Freeman contributed to this story.